Around every corner along the Rhine River is a castle, a winery, or a historical WWII site. Enjoying this incredible European waterway aboard AmaWaterways on their Captivating Rhine itinerary made for an immersive, elegant travel experience. Read more about Marybeth Ricciardi's recent trip along this river.
The Ship and Service:
My first cruise with AmaWaterways was excellent! We enjoyed a good-sized cabin aboard the AmaSerena with lots of storage space and counter space in the bedroom area and bathroom (Category AB). As it was built recently in 2015, the ship employs modern features and twin balconies in most rooms. I liked how they offer an hour-long cocktail party each evening. Food was delicious and plentiful, especially at the Chef’s Table. Entertainment was enjoyable and diverse. I was also impressed with the wellness classes offered onboard.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Cologne, Germany; Rhine Gorge, Germany; Rüdesheim, Germany; Ludwigshafen, Germany; Heidelberg, Germany; Strasbourg, France; Breisach, Germany; Riquewihr, France; Basel, Switzerland
We flew into Amsterdam early and stayed for two nights on our own at Hotel Estheréa, which proved to be a nice hotel in a great location. We toured all the must-see places: Heineken Brewery, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and the Anne Frank House. We did a private tour of the Red Light District with toursbylocals.com. The guide was wonderful and our two-hour tour turned into three hours and she even walked us back to our hotel.
One of the excursions we took part in was the Breisach-Riquewihr walking tour. Most of Breisach was destroyed during World War II, but it was rebuilt to retain much of its original style. By contrast, Riquewihr was spared during the war, and it's a delightful small village to explore. Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Cabinet in Rüdesheim houses an extensive array of hundreds of instruments; some are hundreds of years old. It’s a quirky place, but very memorable. We were able to try Rüdesheimer Kaffee, a cocktail invented by a German television chef, that’s a blend of flambéd brandy and coffee garnished with whipped cream and chocolate served in a special mug. Quite a treat!
We disembarked the ship in Basel and did five nights on our own in Switzerland with a rail pass. Switzerland was amazing, but crowded!
- You won’t be able to enjoy spontaneity with some attractions, as tickets must be booked online in advance. You can reserve tickets for the Anne Frank House up to two months prior to your visit.
- Advance tickets are also recommended for the Van Gogh Museum. I cringed when I heard someone say they couldn't get in because their advisor told them they could purchase tickets when they arrived. There is a limited supply of tickets available day-of, so I recommend not risking it!
- If you plan on spending some time on your own touring Switzerland, the Swiss Rail Pass is the best way to go! You get unlimited travel by train, bus, or boat for a set number of days.
- The travel pass also includes free admission to over 500 museums (yes, five hundred).
Contact Marybeth about this vacation
- (520) 625-6960
- [email protected]